ILNews

Evidence does not support CHINS finding

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s determination that an infant is a child in need of services after finding the parents have improved their living situation that led to their three other children being removed.  

The parental rights of mother S.S. and father B.M. to their three young children were terminated in March 2012 because of poor living conditions, the special needs of the children, and the parents’ lack of cooperation to complete ordered services. A month later, the mother gave birth to R.S., who tested negative for drugs.

The Department of Child Services filed a petition alleging R.S. to be a child in need of services based on the family’s history before R.S. was born. Now the parents are able to live in an adequate home and provide food, diapers and other necessities for their daughter. They also appropriately interacted with R.S. during visits. Both parents have low cognitive functioning scores and mother has a personality disorder for which she was seeking to resume medication.

“This evidence simply does not support the trial court’s conclusion that the most significant reasons for which the prior termination order was entered have not been corrected, and R.S.’s physical and/or mental condition is seriously impaired or at risk as a result of the parents’ inability to provide the child with the necessary shelter and supervision,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote in In the Matter of: R.S. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services, and S.S. (Mother) & B.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 02A05-1208-JC-422.

“Here, it is apparent that Parents have made positive changes in their lives. This is something for which we should applaud them rather than condemn them through coercive action.”

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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